Hat-trick hero Smith hails Raiders
13:00 23 March 2014
National League: Raiders 7 Streatham 3
AJ Smith hailed the latest Raiders performance as they strengthened their claims for a fourth place finish with victory over rivals Streatham last night.
Raiders were without Frankie Harvey and JJ McGrath but hat-tricks from Smith and import Jakub Klima helped the hosts to victory at Lee Valley, with Tom Davis also on the mark, to give them a boost going into the Essex derby with Chemsford tonight.
Smith said: “It was a another great all-round team performance, again with a couple of guys missed.
“We only iced nine skaters but we showed twice as much heart as them and that was the difference.
“At one stage at the start of the second period they tried to rough it up a bit and take advantage of our short bench but they should have learned from our previous game that doesn’t work against us. It just fires us up more.”
Klima opened the scoring inside three minutes, but Joseph Johnston levelled for the Redskins soon after.
Smith opened his account with a powerplay goal, as Steven Fisher served a tripping penalty, and struck again as Raiders enjoyed another man advantage with Jack Tarczycki in the box on a hooking call.
Fisher replied just seven seconds later to make it 3-2, though, and Sean Scarborough beat Michael Gray to tie it up in the 18th minute.
But Davis restored the Raiders advantage with three seconds left in the opening period and they never looked back.
After David Oliver clashed with Jamie McIlroy early in the middle period and Billy Phillips also received a double minor for roughing soon after, Klima claimed the only goal of the session to make it 5-3.
Klima opened up a three-goal goal with 10 minutes left and Smith completed his treble in the 53rd minute, having netted twice in the previous weekend’s win over Bracknell.
He added: “It was great to score a hat-trick and the third goal in particular was a really nicely worked goal with great passes from (Danny) Marshall and Klima in the build-up.
“Tonight will be a lot tougher I imagine. Chelmsford won the league last weekend but they will still be up for it today.
“Games against Chelmsford always mean more than other games and we want the points on the board to secure a fourth place finish in the league.
“It would be a fantastic achievement considering the problems we’ve had this season.
Scorers, Raiders: Jakub Klima* 3+3 AJ Smith 3+2 Tom Davis 1+1 Danny Marshall 0+4 David Oliver 0+2 Grant Taylor 0+1 Charlie Phillips 0+1.
Redskins: Sean Scarborough* 1+1 Steven Fisher 1+1 Joe Johnston 1 Joe Allen 0+1 Michael Oravec* 0+1.
Shots on goal: Michael Gray (R) 18-15-13=46-3 Aaron Taylor (S) 18-15-14=47-7.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 22 Streatham 12.
Referee: Jurijs Solovjovs.